Investing & Saving

Investing & Saving

Savings Accounts

After much sleuthing, I’ve found that CIT bank has the highest yields for savings accounts. If you have  at least $1,000 in your current savings account, you can buy a 11 month no-penalty CD at 1.85 percent yield. This is basically a “hack” for the highest savings account yield because you can actually withdraw money whenever you want. I have no clue why they would ever offer no-penalty CD’s, but just like how credit cards offer bonuses that allow us to travel hack, I’m not complaining. Click here to sign up.

If you don’t have $1,000 for a savings account yet, their “HYSA Premier” savings account will give you a 1.55% return, which is the highest yield for savings accounts. Barclays, GS, Ally, Discover are all at least .05% lower. This account requires a $100 minimum but doesn’t have any fees. Click here to sign up for the HYSA Premier 1.55% return if you don’t have $1,000 to put in the no-penalty CD.

Insurance

Metromile offers pay-per mile insurance and is generally cheaper than conventional car insurance for those who drive less than 10,000 miles per year, or less than 27 miles a day. Currently Metromile is only available in the following states: California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. I talk about Metromile more in depth in this blog post. You can get a free quote by clicking here

 

 

Investing

Ellevest– I prefer to manage my own portfolio as outlined in this blog post, but after receiving countless emails from people who didn’t feel ready to do that and asked for a robo-advsior recommendation, I’m recommending Ellevest. They offer a free investment plan that is quite detailed and asks for all the categories you are trying to save for. For women, they tell you how much extra you need to save in order to be able to take X months off for maternity leave, something I haven’t seen any other robo-advisor do. They charge .25 percent, which is $25/year for every $10k saved.

 

Vanguard – Vanguard has incredibly low fee Index funds (VTSAX at .04 percent) and works perfectly for those looking to do manual tax loss harvesting. Their interface is easy to use and transactions are free for their funds. I use them to manage my own portfolio (Admiral shares) as mentioned in this blog post. They are such a personal finance favorite, they don’t offer affiliate links – they basically just get business by word of mouth.

If you desperately need an investment advisor, look for one who is FEE BASED. There is no need to pay a percentage of your AUM just to have someone click a few buttons for less than an hour a year. The exception comes if you have $3M+ in assets and need alt investments or tax optimization. But if you need those things, why are you here on my blog and not talking to a tax accountant/lawyer/advisor!? Sadly I do not have recs for you. Maybe one day when I reach that level, I’ll have some.

Student Loans

SoFi – I used SoFi right when I graduated to get a lower rate on my student loans (as low as 2.35 percent variable, so if you’re looking to aggressively pay down those loans, it makes more sense to choose a variable loan). I had just graduated and didn’t have much of a credit history but landed a pretty nice job. Banks won’t let you refinance because you don’t have any work or tax history. SoFi’s algorithm takes into account if you graduated from a good school, what your major was, if the company you work for was difficult to get into, etc. Instead of just relying on your FICO score and W-2, you’re able to get a loan based on more subjective terms. Most banks require at least 2 years of tax returns and the 2 latest paycheck stubs, all of which you don’t have as a graduate. In order to get the best rate, you do need to have graduated from a good school, gotten a high-paying job, etc.

There’s also a discount of .25 percent when you set up your account to auto pay your loan. SoFi does a soft pull, so it doesn’t affect your credit score when you check your rate. There aren’t any origination or prepayment fees on the loan either.

LendEDU – While SoFi has the lowest possible variable rates, I can’t say it will always give you the lowest rates out of all the lenders. LendEDU is for student loan rates as what Kayak is for airplane fares. It allows you to find the cheapest rate. It’s also a soft pull so it doesn’t affect your credit score.

 

 

 

Free Tools

Ebates – Earn automatic cash back for things you would’ve bought anyway online. Have a credit card that already gets you cash back? Double dip and get cash back from both! Get $10 immediately when you use this link. Refer 3 friends and get $75.

 

Personal Capital allows me to track my expenses, income, and net worth. It’s an upgrade from Mint and the Excel spreadsheet, and best of all, it’s free!

 

 

CFIRESIM – Open source calculator for modeling your own retirement scenarios. It’s open source too, so you can contribute to the source code as well.

CamelCamelCamel

Free Chrome plugin or website. Tracks the price of things you want on Amazon and alerts you when they’re dropped beneath a threshold you set. Great for things you’re unsure of buying but would buy if there was a discount.

Earnin iOS or Android Apps – Ever get annoyed that you don’t get paid daily? Earnin allows you to get paid daily for FREE! This would be great for students, those on low-income, or someone who needs money before their pay period. While you should still get an emergency fund, this can work for you in the meantime. They run on tips, but you don’t need to give one, so for those who need (rent, food, etc) money before their next pay period, you can try out earnin! Don’t make it a habit though!

 

Free Trials, Products, and Discounts

Audible – 2 audiobooks for free. The trial is for 30 days, cancel before the end of the trial and you can keep the audiobooks! If you want to keep it, it’s $14.99 after.

 

Amazon Music Unlimited – Free 30 day trial. $14.99 for a 6 user account. Find 5 family members or friends and you’re down to $2.49 a month for music, way cheaper than Spotify or Pandora.

 

Amazon Family – Free 30 day trial. Same cost as Amazon Prime and same benefits, but also has a 20 percent discount on diapers, baby registry benefits, and coupons and deals related to family items. Not sure why it’s the same price as the normal Amazon Prime.

 

FreshDirect – For those times you don’t want to head to Costco and don’t want to buy food in bulk because you don’t have a lot of people in your family. Fresh Direct offers $50 off your first order with promo code FD50.